Friday, December 11, 2015

Researching Trends In Your Publisher Of Choice

We're talking about trends today. How do you make sure that your writing is matching the trends and the voice of the publisher you wish to be with? The answer, surprisingly, is not that difficult. It will take reading (oh bummer) and it will take time (yes, you knew I would bring that up).

The task is simple.

Read the debut authors.

I understand the tendency will be to read the established authors, but the real sample to look at would be the debut authors. These are the people that editors were recently excited about. See what they are doing. If you see that they are staying the course, then you are fine. But...

If these authors are trying new things. Maybe they are now in locations you thought were once off limits, it will give you a sense that the editors are opening up a few doors. The established authors might not head that way because they already have a following of readers who expect certain things.

For example, in historical romance, France was often an area where editors did not place stories. The reason was never really clear, but they knew that market research said those areas just did not sell. And yet, if you have noticed lately, a few more authors were eeking their ways into the countryside of France. In the past, they just passed through, but now they were staying longer. Some authors were even putting their entire story in France.

Does this mean it is a trend? No. It simply means that with this particular publisher (I am going to make you do the research on this one to figure out the publisher), those editors were more likely to accept stories in that area.

Again, this is not something that can be done in a single sitting. I would also argue that asking them in a panel discussion will not yield anything. They will return to the "if it is a good story they will consider it" argument. But, reading for research will give you some insight.

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